Brand Spankin’ New 5k PR!! And First Female Overall!!

Wow. Just, wow. I ran a 5k on Thanksgiving that I had no idea I had in me. I won the whole damn thing (for the girls, anyway) and have never ran so fast in my life.

Ahhhhh!!!!!

Ahhhhh!!!!!

So the past 3-4 years, since I started “running” running, my husband and I have done our local town’s Turkey Trot 5k. Even though I know the course/streets very well since I grew up on them and could run them in my sleep, this race always kills me. Always.

The first mile is downhill and half of the 2nd and half of the 3rd are on an long, gradual incline that just does me in every. single. time.

This graph makes it look worse but this is what it feels like, LOL

This graph makes it look worse but this is what it feels like, LOL

To put in perspective–the first time I ran this race was back in 2013 and I finished in 25:44, a PR at the time. As time passed, I PR’d on other 5k courses (down to 23:40) but in 2014 and 2015 I couldn’t beat my 2013 time on that dang Turkey Trot course!!

Anyway, going into the race my goal was to beat my course PR. But, my brother really wanted me to beat his course PR–24:30. I was okay with simply getting sub 25 but my brother was pretty insistent on me beating his time. So, I decided to shoot for that thinking it would be a pretty sweet win if I made it.

I had a really good run under my belt going in. The Tuesday before I had done a 5 mile run with my husband. But like, really with my husband. At his pace. Whenever we run together, he slows down to accommodate me, but on Tuesday, I was feeling it (and really, I wanted to actually run with him, lol) and he didn’t have to slow down all that much.

5 miles–8:20, 8;04, 7:45, 7:35, 7:23

So having done that run and feeling pretty good, I was confident I could get the time my brother wanted me to get.

5k First mile–7:14

Yeah…..like I said, it’s downhill and I worried that I’d blown it going so fast. Especially knowing I had the dreaded uphill coming my way.

5k Second mile–7:32

Holy crap, I couldn’t believe it. I remember climbing up (it really is such a subtle incline but it feels mountainous) and telling myself to push, push, push!!! I saw a girl up ahead start walking and that fueled me. I sought to catch and pass her and that helped me speed up on that uphill. When I did pass her, I told her to join me, but she was done.

As I approached the third mile, I saw that that girl I’d passed was the only girl in front of me!!! I was the first female at that point!

5k Third mile–7:25

No way was I gonna lose this chance. We got into the park to do the final loop and I just gunned it. I told myself to run as fast as I could, fast where it hurt. I told myself to make it hurt.

5k point one–5:50 pace

And I was the first female overall!!!! I have no idea where the young cross country girls were (the overall male was a 16 year-old cross country runner) but I’m glad as hell they sat this one out 😀

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I won this cool plate and my picture was taken for our local paper and I felt like such a badass, haha!!!

I may never win another race, but I’m so proud and happy I won my town’s 5k (and their last one, unfortunately).

–Have you ever won a race?

–Does your town have a popular race?

–How was your Thanksgiving, Americans?

 

 

Hanson’s/NYC Marathon Training: Week 4

How many weeks is this thing again?

This was a tough week. My daughter started Pre-K this week and we all had to adjust to our new schedules (plus, tmi, I had my monthly lady visitor 😦 ). But, in true Helly fashion, I was able to make it work and get all my runs in. In fact, I didn’t miss a single training day the month of July!!

Monthly mileage PR

Monthly mileage PR

I have to admit, I’m pretty darn proud of myself and it motivates me to keep it going as long as I can. I know that life will happen, and I might have to miss a run, but to see me being as disciplined as I’ve been lets me know that I CAN DO HARD THINGS.

Marathon Goal– 3:50
Marathon Pace/Tempo Runs– 8:45
Easy Runs–9:40-10:20
Long Runs–9:29

Monday, July 25th3 easy miles, 10:10 avg

This was my daughter’s first day of Pre-K and she handled it like a boss.

I cried, she didn't.

I cried, she didn’t.

Afterward, my son and I headed to the gym as I had 6 miles on the schedule. But little guy did not handle it like a boss; he missed his big sister 😦 When I dropped him off at the gym daycare, he was fine and went off to play. I got on the treadmill and started running but was. not. feeling. it. It felt like I was running through mud the entire way–and I usually don’t mind treadmill running at all. Something was not right. So at mile 3 I called it a day and went to pick up my son. When I got there, he looked up at me with tear-filled eyes; he had been crying on and off for sister. It’s funny how mother’s intuition works. ❤

Tuesday, July 26th–1 mile WU, 6×800 @3:50/7:38 pace (w/400R), 1 mile CD=6.5 miles; 3 easy afternoon miles, 9:18 avg

It was an early wake time for this run and I just didn’t wanna. But I did. In my mile warm up, my watched buzzed that I had received a message–it was from my sister. I was surprised because my sister doesn’t usually send me messages so I was compelled to stop and check it. This was what she sent:

With the message: "This made me think of you."

With the message: “This made me think of you.”

It was just what I needed to get going–sometimes even in training you need tell your body to shut up and get things done, lol.

My sister and I are not very close (a long post for another day, perhaps) so anytime I get a message from her, I’m overjoyed. Overjoyed that she thought of me to send me something.

I nailed the workout.

  1. 3:50/7:38
  2. 3:48/7:35
  3. 3:42/7:23
  4. 3:43/7:25
  5. 3:46/7:33
  6. 3:44/7:29

Then, in the evening, I made up my 3 miles from the day before with my husband and my running group. It was a hot run, but we survived.

Somehow managed a 9:18 avg. Too fast for an easy run.

Somehow managed a 9:18 avg. Too fast for an easy run.

Wednesday, July 27th–REST DAY

Oh, happy day.

Thursday, July 28th–1 mile WU, 6 Tempo miles, 1 mile CD

Despite what the average pace says, this was not a good run.

That "WU" mile should've been a warning sign

That “WU” mile should’ve been a warning sign

 

I ran with a super speedy friend and knew that I would have to stay disciplined and totally wasn’t. I was mad myself because I know better. I HATE positive splitting runs–I’m usually so good at pacing and making sure I negative split. There’s just NO room for a 7:50 mile in a tempo run. Not when my speed work is practically that pace. Ugh, Helly!!! I let my friend go at mile 5 and got it together…

Plus, it was effing ridiculous outside at 5 in the morning.

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Friday, July 29th–6 easy hill miles, 9:57 avg

Another Friday of hills and me waking up at 4 and driving 30 minutes to them, lol. It was 90 degrees at 5 in the morning. NINETY DEGREES!!

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But, it was not a boring run because……

#doggoals

#doggoals

Saturday, July 30th–7.33 easy miles, 10:07 avg

I missed running with friends in the morning because I had a hair appointment (and I also have a husband who is marathon training–I forget about that sometimes, ja! ) so I did this run in the evening. When I looked at the temperature, it was under 100 so I figured it was *totally* okay for me to run…

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Sunday, July 31st–8 easy miles, 10:10 avg

I had plans to meet a friend in the morning for these miles but when my alarm went off at 4:20 it was accompanied by the sound of rain. I was getting out of bed when my husband said, “You have got to be crazy. No, you’re not going.” I sent my buddy a message that I was out and while I felt bad, I knew it was the right thing. That could’ve been one slip and fall away from getting injured (remember my little trip last week?)

So I did the 8 miles on the treadmill.

Woodway treadmills are amazing.

Woodway treadmills are amazing.

—-42.07 miles—-This was a tough week and a test to my commitment in training, but I got it done. I can feel myself getting stronger and there’s really no better motivation than seeing progress. Here’s to a new month of training!! 😀

I’m also still fundraising and am getting closer and closer to my goal. If you’re in the giving mood, please donate–ANY amount is extremely appreciated, really. ❤

–Have you seen a sunglasses wearing dog before?

–What’s your craziest #AsSeenOnMyRun? 

–How was your running month? What’s your monthly mileage PR? 

 

 

 

2016 Phoenix Marathon–Half Marathon Recap

They say it comes in 3s!!!

For the 3rd weekend in a row, I was able to snag a PR! I can’t believe the month of February. Can’t.

For those who want the Cliffnotes version, I PR’d my half marathon time by OVER SEVEN MINUTES! 1:55:37 —> 1:48:04!!

And here are my splits:

Screen Shot 2016-02-28 at 8.56.16 PM

Screen Shot 2016-02-28 at 8.56.32 PM

For those willing to hear the long version, here goes:

The Expo was on Friday, the day before the race (which btw, I really like Saturday races) and I really wanted to meet some Instagram/We Run Social friends from last year’s race.

Carlee, Me, Kindal, and Brian

Carlee, Me, Kindal, and Brian

We Run Social was started from last year’s Phoenix Marathon and has blown up to become a year-long running party 😀

Both the marathon and half marathon started at 6:30 so my husband and I had to be there at the same time which was nice because we could drive together (he was running the full). Runners had to arrive suuuuper early to catch busses that would drop off runners at the start of the point to point courses, so we left at 4:30 and scooped up my BRF Runner Jenny along the way. It was pushing it because the last bus left at 5:15 and we got there right at 5. Traffic was insane and we decided to drop my husband off and he ran to where his busses were. But me and Runner Jenny had no idea where the half marathon busses were! I asked a volunteer who took out a map and pointed me towards the direction we had just come from. What?!? We went back and saw my husband and run club coach who told us, no, the half busses were the other way! Runner Jenny and I scrambled (and ran seriously about a half mile) to the right place and luckily on time.

After about a 20 minute bus ride, we reached the drop off point and I immediately got in line for the porta potties. It was a long line but I was able to do what I had to do just as the announcer called runners to the start line.

My long time buddy Nadia was with me and planned to help pace me to a PR (which was my goal, but I seriously had no idea I would do it by so much). She wanted to make sure I started conservatively, while I really had no idea what I was doing. Thank God for her because I know I would’ve started out too fast.

My beautiful friend, Nadia. Friends for over 20 years <3

My beautiful friend, Nadia. Friends for over 20 years ❤

In my overly ambitious head, I wanted to be at 8:15, but Nadia wanted me closer to 8:30, at least at the start. We found the 1:50 pacer and decided we’d stick with him for as long as we could as he said the pace was an 8:23/mile and that was a happy medium for me and Nadia.

I began my attempt to get my I-pod ready; I had purchased a little shuffle thinking I’d avoid another FroYo music fiasco, lol. No such luck though because I had no idea how to make my playlist play. It would play the songs out of order and I didn’t know how to fix that. I started panicking a little, frustrated that I was dealing with this, but Runner Jenny was nearby and calmed me down, reminding me that before then, I never listened to music anyway. She was right. Music or no music, I’d be fine.

I never got the shuffle to play the songs in my playlist order and it ended up not being a big deal at all.

Mile 1 was navigating through crowds and it went by quickly at 8:24. We settled in and I just got in a zone, only looking at my watch when I felt it buzz a mile split. The pacer was actually going a little faster than planned as miles 2-7 were between 8:14 and 8:19. This pleased me as it was what I had wanted and I was feeling good. Really good. Sometimes I would feel myself start go a little ahead and then I would pull back, go a little ahead, and then pull back. Nadia’s presence a reminder of the plan.

And each time I felt the watch buzz and saw the mile split I would just grin. I was doing it! At mile 7, I unplugged an earphone, turned to the pacer and Nadia and said, “This is officially the longest I’ve ran at this pace!” I was doing great!

At mile 8, the pacer returned to his plan as the split buzzed at 8:21. I was a little bummed to see a 20something after feeling so good in the teens, and I told myself that if I was feeling good at mile 10, I would let myself pull away.

Mile 9 buzzed away at 8:20 and mile 10 at 8:26. As soon as I saw that mile 10 split, I decided to let go of the pacer. I was going to finish this on my own.

Even without Nadia.

After mile 10, I dug my heels in and picked up the pace. I didn’t look behind me or next to me. I didn’t say a word to Nadia (who later ended up stopping to call 911 for a runner!), I just went, telling myself I had a 5k left and to leave nothing on the pavement.

Mile 11, 8:17.

Mile 12, 8:03. 

Knowing I had a mile left, I was going for it. I knew the last mile was a decline and I used that and the adrenaline of having a sub 1:50 nailed to give it all I had at the finish.

Mile 13, 7:37.

HELL YEAH!!!

HELL YEAH!!! 1:48:04!!!

I roared my way into the finish line. I was so ridiculously happy. I couldn’t believe that in 3 weeks, I’d managed to PR in my 5k, 10k, and now my 1/2 marathon time. With the adrenaline I was feeling, I could’ve signed up for a full marathon this coming weekend! (Spoiler alert, I didn’t LOL)

This was the first race, in all distances, that I felt good the entire way. That I felt confident and strong the entire way.

I never once felt like I couldn’t do it.

Nadia’s plan to start with the pacer was perfect. I think had I tried to do it on my own, starting off right away at an 8:15 pace, I might’ve tried to go faster and lost control. I was lucky that the pacer went a little faster earlier in the race, closer to what I’d wanted, because that let me be consistent and I feel that was huge in allowing me to feel so good the entire way.

I’m also extremely freaking proud that I took the risk of pulling away after mile 10. I think the “old me” (I’m not sure what that means yet) would’ve been too scared to leave the pacer, afraid that I would burn out.

But I felt so confident in myself. I’ve never felt this way before. It’s like I just knew that I could go faster–at mile freaking 10!

Ringing the PR bell :D

Ringing the PR bell 😀

When I finished, I immediately grabbed my stuff from gear check. I had signed up to receive tracking alerts from my husband and sure enough, he had crossed the half way point already right on target.

Not long after, Runner Jenny and Nadia met up with me and we waited for my husband to finish. I got the 20 miler alert and then finally, we saw him. I screamed my head off as I saw him cross at 3:37:46!!! A PR for him too!!!

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It was an absolutely fantastic day. Being surrounded by friends (my running club is amazing), having my husband with me, and finally feeling like I ran a race the way I knew I could has me the happiest girl on earth. I’ll be taking a break from racing (but not from my blog, so don’t worry 😉 ) and plan on riding this high for a long while 😀

Thank you all so much for your kind words on Instagram and Facebook and here. Thank you for following my journey. ❤

–How do you build confidence in your running? 

–When’s the last time you felt you “nailed” a race?